The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO) reports that its Saturday joint effort with the Tri-County Drug Task Force collected that much unwanted and expired prescription medications as part of the National Prescription Take Back Initiative sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The collection totals surpassed the previous take back event by more than 60 pound, the JCSO said.
Tri-County DTF Operations Supervisor, Sergeant Yohance Brunson estimates the 126 pounds of medications are equivalent to several thousand pills.
On a later date, the Arkansas National Guard's Counterdrug Program and DEA will pickup the medications collected Saturday across the state and take them to Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc. in El Dorado for destruction.
"Thank you to the citizens of Jefferson County and Pine Bluff, AR that visited the collection sites on Saturday, April 28, 2012 and dropped off their unused prescription medication. Prescription drugs are the second most commonly abused category of drugs, behind marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs. The National Institutes of Health estimates that nearly 20 percent of people in the United States have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. Initiatives such as the National Prescription Drug Take Back are what ensure that the abuse of prescription medications is reduced. It also ensures that the prescription medications don't end up in the hands of our youth. However, the ultimate goal is to eliminate such abuse through the continued vigorous pursuit of individuals who violate the laws governing prescription medications."
Arkansas's participation was planned and coordinated by the DEA Little Rock Field Office, the Office of the Drug Director, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's Office, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Arkansas National Guard, and other government agencies, community organizations, and public health agencies.